We all know that networking requires a significant amount of time, effort, and commitment. Here are some tips that will help you get the most from the time you spend networking!
- When asking for a referral from an associate or client, use the phrase, “Who do you know who . . .?” This is an open-ended question that works well.
- Have someone else tell a group of people how good your product or service is. This beats anything you can say about yourself. Ask people who have used your products or services to talk about their experience at the next event you attend. Don’t forget that your connections are an extension of your sales team and true cheerleaders for your success!
- Top business executives isolate themselves from those who may try to sell them products or services. Through word of mouth you can still increase your volume of business. You know a hundred people, who know a hundred people, who in turn know a hundred people, and so on. The greatest referrals are probably not going to come from a CEO, but from someone who knows a CEO.
- If you have an opportunity to distribute your materials, do it. Bring products, samples, brochures, or a presentation book to the business meetings that you attend. If people can see, feel, touch, hear, or smell samples of your product or the service that you provide, they are more likely to use you. You could even go a step further by creating a presentation book to pass around at your meetings.
- Offer a special price or service exclusive to the members of your networks. If you can get members to buy from you, they are much more likely to refer you.
- Tell the members of your network that you accept speaking engagements as bona fide referrals if you are open to speaking. Ask them to pitch you to the board or decision makers of other organizations they belong to.
- Meet people outside the regular meetings whenever you can. Write cards or encouragement letters to let them know that you are thinking about them, send articles that might be of interest, call to check in, and let them know about local business mixers/events.
- To get good referrals, tell people when they’ve given you a bad referral. If you don’t, you’ll keep getting bad referrals. Teach people what you consider to be a good referral. We want to be passing quality referrals.
- Monitor the referrals you get. This tells you how often you get referrals, their source, quality, status, and dollar payoff. Having this information helps you focus on individuals and groups who are giving you the best referrals. This allows you to reciprocate with people who are giving you the most referrals.
Do you have additional tips for networkers to get the most from business networking? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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